As a hopeless romantic, I love love. I think people should always feel free to love who they love and be open to sharing the love they have. However, there comes a time where your relationships, especially romantic, can feel defined entirely by social media. The whole, "it isn't official until it's Facebook official," idea or the notion that if you haven't posted a picture of your significant other that you are ashamed of them are perfect examples of a relationship defined by social media.
I have friends who are in healthy, happy relationships and I feel genuine love and care radiate from all the posts they make about their SOs, no matter how frequent or infrequent they may be. I personally don't post too much of my relationship on social media, in large part because I don't post on social media in general. I also don't want to overshare or make my entire feed a giant PDA fest. There are things beyond my relationship I want to share with my friends and family. While I like posting about my relationship, I just don't want to make it seem like we're some picture perfect couple when there's a lot more to us, good and bad.
Another aspect of social media that I think messes with our ideas of relationships is letting things like Snapchat streaks or how often we message one another define how and who we communicate with. I recently let go of this idea of having to have Snapchat streaks, and I feel like I'm more aware of my communication skills because of it. I don't think Snapchat streaks are bad for everyone, but the way they were affecting my perception of relationships personally definitely was not good for me. I wasn't even having real conversations within these streaks, and for a while, I even kept them with people I didn't even want to talk to in real life.
This idea of keeping up the consistency long after the actual relationship with another ended is kind of ridiculous looking back. When someone wrongs us or there's just no longer any desire to keep in contact, why keep sending one picture a day to each other for an emoji next to a name? Beyond this, I was talking to the people I wanted to talk to outside of these streaks, and it wasn't worth any stress or effort if the infamous hourglass showed up. I found myself valuing my communication with people more when it wasn't just about bringing a number up, but when it was about just genuinely talking to them.
Social media is a huge part of our generation's lives, and I don't hate social media or people posting about their relationships at all. Nothing makes me happier than seeing people who I love and care about showing the happiness and love they more than deserve. Plus, I am guilty of posting about my own relationship a little too much and caring about social media presence more than I probably should. However, seeing relationships where all that seems to matter is having "story worthy dates," or posting about one another because you feel some kind of obligation is a problem.
How often you post about someone or publicly communicate with them should never be the defining aspect of what makes your relationship work or make you happy.
Social media is a microcosm of the real world, and it's time to stop letting this small aspect of our lives overrule our relationships of all kinds. Posting about your relationship should always be welcome, and no one should feel they need to hide who they are with or who they love. But, never let these posts and however many likes they get be the only reason you feel happiness or be why you're staying in the relationship. Let yourself enjoy moments between yourself and those you love out of view of social media, and never lose the value these relationships can hold beyond story views or post likes.